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                                                 Microsoft Dynamics
                                                 Customer Solution Case Study




                                                 Multichannel Leader Doubles Size, Streamlines
                                                 Operations, Improves Customer Service


    Overview                                     “Instead of talking about technology, today we talk a
    Country or Region: United States
    Industry: Retail—Specialty retailing         lot more about what we want to accomplish and where
                                                 we want to take the business. We are also very happy
    Customer Profile
    The Cable Shopping Network (CSN) is a        with the solution’s cost-of-ownership.”
    fast-growing category leader in
                                                                   Jay Poplawski, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Cable Shopping Network
    multichannel sales of collectible coins
    and numismatic continuity programs.
                                                 The Cable Shopping Network (CSN) sells collectible coins
    Business Situation
    CSN needed to manage growth while            through multiple channels, engaging thousands of customers in
    maintaining best possible service quality    continuity programs. The company had plans to grow, but the
    and customer retention, improve visibility
    of inventory and customer information,       technology in place lacked the flexibility and reliability to
    and increase order fulfillment efficiency.   support CSN’s complex operations and service commitment.
    Solution                                     CSN implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX with JunctionMCR
    The company implemented Microsoft            from Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Junction Solutions. With
    Dynamics AX together with JunctionMCR
    from Junction Solutions as the unified       the integrated solution, CSN has gained accurate, real-time
    infrastructure to support and streamline     visibility of inventory and customer data, streamlined order
    business activities.
                                                 fulfillment, and doubled its transaction volume through a joint
    Benefits                                     venture, without needing to invest in expensive customization.
     Take a winning business model to the
      next level                                 Now, customer fulfillment is efficient and accurate, with a 97
     Pursue accelerated growth without          percent error-free order fulfillment rate. The sales team can
      boosting resource overhead
     Boost service excellence with              close more business and retain customers effectively, and
      streamlined fulfillment                    executives can confidently plan for continued growth.
     Increase customer retention and the
      ability to close sales
“The solution is                        Situation                                        products become available for purchase.
                                        Serving customers throughout the United          CSN makes approximately 29,000 customer
extremely scalable. The                 States, the Cable Shopping Network (CSN)         shipments every month, but during two
                                        offers a wide variety of collectible coins.      weeks in December, it ships as many as
recent joint venture has                The company’s offerings include the well-        70,000 packages.
almost doubled call                     known statehood quarters, proof sets,
                                        ancient coins, coins retrieved from              CSN sources coin supplies from the U.S.
volumes, transactions,                  shipwrecks, and international collectible        Mint and forwards them to graders, who
                                        coins and notes. CSN also offers exclusive       grade and certify the quality of the coins,
and fulfillment needs.                  programs, such as presidential dollars and a     seal them in plastic, and return them to the
The solution adapted                    national parks coin series. The company’s        company. CSN’s inventory management
                                        headquarters, call center, and warehouse         process required support for this grading
smoothly without                        are located in Scottsdale, Arizona.              activity. CSN sends coins to graders under
                                                                                         one store keeping unit (SKU) and receives
causing an increased                    CSN markets and sells through many               them from the graders under another SKU.
administrative                          different channels: paid programming on          Correctly tracking the shipments,
                                        TV, live TV shows, catalogs, direct mail,        reconciling the status of items between
workload.”                              outbound telemarketing, and e-commerce.          CSN and the graders, and accounting for
                                        Approximately 400,000 customers have             the expenditures associated with acquiring
     Kevin Krieger, IT Manager, Cable
                   Shopping Network     purchased at least one item from the             coins or bullion are business-critical tasks.
                                        company, and that number is increasing.
                                        Says Jay Poplawski, Co-Founder and Co-           Outgrowing Inflexible Technology Tools
                                        CEO of CSN, “We aim to be the leader in          To help manage its business, CSN
                                        collectible coins with U.S. consumers and        previously used the Ecometry software.
                                        provide the best possible customer               However, the technology was unable to
                                        service.”                                        support CSN’s specific needs, particularly
                                                                                         CSN’s complex continuity program
                                        Managing Continuity Programs and                 requirements. Carolyn Burke, Fulfillment
                                        Activity Spikes                                  and Property Manager at CSN, explains,
                                        Many CSN customers participate in one or         “We assemble sets of coins in many
                                        more subscription-like continuity programs,      different configurations and ship them to
                                        which provide regular mailings of coins          customers at a set schedule. The software
                                        accompanied by regular billing. Continuity       could not effectively reflect the variety in
                                        programs are a big revenue driver for CSN        products, accommodate shipping
                                        and represent approximately half of the          schedules, or facilitate reliable inventory
                                        company’s annual revenue. It is essential        reconciliation. We were coming up on our
                                        for CSN to manage continuity programs            high-volume, end-of-year continuity season
                                        with optimal levels of reliability and service   and simply could not imagine going
                                        excellence to maintain good, lasting             through another busy season with the
                                        relationships with these customers.              headaches we experienced with this
                                                                                         software.”
                                        During CSN’s live show and infomercials,
                                        the call center can receive sudden spikes of     For CSN, customizing the software had
                                        300 or more simultaneous calls.                  become costly and upgrades were
                                        Representatives in the outbound sales            unreliable. The software also lacked the
                                        group use assigned lists of accounts to call     features needed to manage high volumes
                                        customers when valuable numismatic               of customer interactions and continued
growth across CSN’s multiple channels. In      inventory planning, warehouse operations,
addition, CSN was preparing for a joint        and order fulfillment.
venture with The Coin Vault, which would
result in substantial increases in customer    Fast Implementation with an
traffic, product complexity, and fulfillment   Experienced Partner
requirements. “From our point of view,         The implementation proceeded under a
Ecometry lacked a dependable road map          rapid timeline because CSN needed to have
for solution enhancements,” says               the new technology tools ready for its
Poplawski. “We urgently needed a               busiest season in December. The solution
technology tool that could closely reflect     was implemented in several phases,
our expanding business. We also wanted to      starting with a pilot project for a single
gain much stronger capabilities to serve       continuity program, followed by a
and retain the continuity customers whose      companywide rollout of Microsoft
business we go to great expense to win.”       Dynamics AX and JunctionMCR. CSN
                                               gained the capabilities to manage almost
Solution                                       all business activities with the integrated
The professional networks of CSN leaders       solution. The deployment and user training
soon brought the company into contact          took place in time to support December’s
with Microsoft and Microsoft Gold Certified    busy season. A third project phase included
Partner Junction Solutions. CSN decided        the implementation of the Customer
against performing a time-consuming            Relationship Management (CRM) module
evaluation of software vendors and their       of Microsoft Dynamics AX for the outbound
offerings. Instead, CSN closely reviewed the   sales and customer service representatives.
advantages of implementing Microsoft           The entire project was complete by the end
Dynamics AX together with JunctionMCR          of February 2008.
from Junction Solutions and asked for
several demonstrations to verify the           The solution integrates with Microsoft Excel
technology would fit the company’s             and Microsoft SQL Server to facilitate
business. “We realized that both Microsoft     efficient business reporting, analysis, and
and Junction Solutions had clear visions for   communications. JunctionMCR enables
their products, were strongly committed to     streamlined shipping and billing of
advancing them, and had the resources to       continuity programs. The Junction
do so,” explains Poplawski. “We also           Solutions team also implemented business
understood that Junction Solutions was         rules to assign accounts for outbound sales
ready to become familiar with our business     and campaign management activities, and
and offer strong, dependable support.”         streamline picking and shipping processes.

CSN was satisfied that Microsoft Dynamics      Complete, Integrated Business
AX and JunctionMCR could effectively           Management Infrastructure
support the company’s continuity business      Today, 78 CSN employees use the
with regularly scheduled shipments and         integrated solution every day:
billing, and adapt to its multiple sales        Poplawski and the company’s leadership
channels. Together with Microsoft                 team rely on the reporting capabilities in
Dynamics AX, JunctionMCR also offered a           Microsoft Dynamics AX and JunctionMCR
number of other capabilities important to         to assess business performance, mostly
CSN, including flexible order processing,         by reviewing sales results and the return
                                                  on the company’s investment in different
    channels. Kevin Krieger, IT Manager at         Dynamics AX to plan product sourcing
    CSN, says, “I used to provide reports to       and ensure that CSN has the right
    executives when they requested them.           inventory on hand when the company
    Now, they generate their own reports, at       needs it. Every night, CSN updates its
    their convenience, in the format they find     forecasting reports to help keep product
    most practical.”                               supplies aligned with expected demand.
   Burke and the warehouse and fulfillment       CSN’s office and warehouse locations run
    teams work with the solution to manage         on a single instance of Microsoft
    inventory, assembly of product sets,           Dynamics AX, which also supports the
    picking, packing, and shipping. Says           offices and warehouse of The Coin Vault,
    Burke, “Junction Solutions worked closely      located in Indiana. After CSN began close
    with us to fit the solution closely and        collaboration with The Coin Vault, the
    quickly to the way we work. Even our less      combined traffic and workload
    computer-literate team members rapidly         approximately doubled while the
    became comfortable and proficient in           solution easily scaled to encompass
    working with the solution’s intuitive          more users, greatly increased numbers of
    graphical screens.”                            transactions, and a greater breadth of
   Inbound call center and outbound sales         sales channels. Warehouse and
    team members rely especially on the            fulfillment staff at CSN and The Coin
    CRM and sales order management                 Vault locations can access both
    components of Microsoft Dynamics AX            companies’ entire inventories and drop-
    and JunctionMCR. Marnie Morgan, Call           ship orders directly to customers.
    Center Manager at CSN, says, “The
    system provides detailed customer order      Stable, Dependable Solution
    and shipping histories, along with notes     Krieger, who is responsible for Microsoft
    on any issues and escalations. By the        Dynamics AX and JunctionMCR system
    time a representative escalates a            administration, finds his work to be very
    customer situation to me, I’m fully          different with the new system. “Microsoft
    informed at a moment’s notice and can        Dynamics AX is extremely stable and
    work with the customer to provide the        dependable,” he says. “I can spend my time
    best service possible.” Outbound sales       fine-tuning the solution to the business and
    representatives rely on the solution to      planning enhancements that we will
    present their lists of accounts—to whom      implement in the future.” Currently, Krieger
    they offer products that might interest      is preparing an implementation of
    them—and credit card verifiers use it to     Microsoft SharePoint Server, which will
    resolve issues with expired or about-to-     integrate with Microsoft Dynamics AX.
    expire credit cards. In addition, Morgan     “Integrating Microsoft Dynamics AX and
    reviews her team members’ individual         SharePoint Server will provide us with a
    and collective performance through           powerful shared reference point for
    reports that the solution generates.         business information and reporting,” he
   Financial and marketing managers access      explains. “We will be able to dynamically
    the solution to perform detailed financial   connect to the database in Microsoft
    analysis and evaluate the company’s          Dynamics AX and review sales trends as
    results from campaigns and spending          they happen. The strong security features in
    across the channels it engages in.           SharePoint Server will make it easy for me
   The purchasing department uses the           to manage individual and group access to
    master planning capability in Microsoft
                                        the system so employees can retrieve the        most receptive. That was not possible
                                        information they need to see.”                  before.”

                                        Benefits                                        In their own areas of responsibility, Burke
                                        With Microsoft Dynamics AX and                  and Morgan make use of Microsoft
                                        JunctionMCR, CSN has a scalable, flexible,      Dynamics AX to review individual and team
                                        dependable infrastructure that supports         performance. Burke relies on the solution
                                        company activities and operations. The          to assess workloads and fulfillment rates of
                                        solution completely adapts to CSN’s             her team. Morgan uses it to track and
                                        business model. Says Poplawski, “Instead of     boost representatives’ production and call
                                        talking about technology, today we talk a       activity.
                                        lot more about what we want to
                                        accomplish and where we want to take the        Pursue Accelerated Growth Without
                                        business. We are also very happy with the       Increasing Resource Overhead
                                        solution’s cost-of-ownership.” Burke            With Microsoft Dynamics AX and
“It greatly helps sales                 comments, “The ease the solution adds to        JunctionMCR, CSN has a scalable solution

that inventory today is                 our jobs is priceless. We don’t think about
                                        the tools, we simply use them to do our
                                                                                        that can accommodate the company’s
                                                                                        growth and the spikes in customer activity.
always available, as                    work.”                                          Says Krieger, “The solution is extremely
                                                                                        scalable. The recent joint venture has
needed, so that we can                  Take a Winning Business Model to the            almost doubled call volumes, transactions,

close business with                     Next Level
                                        Across the organization, CSN employees
                                                                                        and fulfillment needs. The solution adapted
                                                                                        smoothly without causing an increased
customers responding to                 use Microsoft Dynamics AX to assess             administrative workload.”
                                        business performance and direct
broadcasts, catalogs, or                operations in the most profitable manner.       Observing intense end-of-year business,

campaigns, and ship                     Poplawski and the executive team are
                                        especially interested in how the different
                                                                                        Morgan notes, “With Microsoft Dynamics
                                                                                        AX, we’ve been able to efficiently and
immediately.”                           channels perform in terms of sales and how      comfortably handle all the annual
                                        CSN might want to adjust spending on            shipments for our continuity programs and
  Marnie Morgan, Call Center Manager,
                                        campaigns, broadcast programs, and              manage the huge volume of customer
             Cable Shopping Network
                                        marketing collateral. Says Poplawski, “The      orders that need fast shipping in time for
                                        technology reflects our business rules and      the holidays.”
                                        policies, and gives us the information and
                                        tools to make sound decisions and direct        Boost Service Excellence with
                                        business performance for improved               Streamlined Fulfillment
                                        competitiveness. We can also use our            Customers directly benefit from CSN’s
                                        creativity in developing new continuity         implementation of a connected,
                                        programs without being concerned that           streamlined business infrastructure.
                                        Microsoft Dynamics AX and JunctionMCR           Through the company’s new self-service
                                        won’t have the flexibility to support them.”    portal, customers can make orders, and
                                                                                        track shipments, at their convenience, by
                                        Krieger adds, “It’s very easy to learn and to   using information served to them through
                                        produce reports to show customer                Microsoft Dynamics AX, reducing calls
                                        purchasing patterns, so we can target offers    about order status coming into the call
                                        to those customers who are likely to be the     center. As Morgan points out, “The solution
                                                                                        empowers us to deliver on CSN’s
commitment to providing outstanding            well above 97 percent. We’re very happy
service quality, no matter how busy we         with that ratio.”
are.”
                                               Increase Customer Retention and the
Microsoft Dynamics AX and JunctionMCR          Ability to Close Sales
enable the expedient and efficient delivery    Retaining customers in the company’s
of customer service by the call center. For    more than 25 continuity programs makes a
example, many of CSN’s customers are           critical difference to CSN’s revenue stream.
enrolled in multiple continuity programs. In   Billing goes directly to customers’ credit
the old system, customer information for       cards, and resolving issues related to
each program was in separate screens.          declined or about-to-expire credit cards is
Now, each customer’s complete                  an essential task that a small group of
information is integrated into one view,       dedicated professionals in the call center
eliminating the need to toggle between         performs. Says Morgan, “Our ability to
multiple screens. With the new solution,       resolve credit card problems has led to
representatives can identify a customer by     being able to recapture 40 to 50 percent of
phone number or other unique identifiers,      declines. Also, the process is now much
simplifying searches especially when           faster. In Microsoft Dynamics AX, we’re
several customers have identical last          presented with a list with the right account
names. “The solution’s search capabilities     details as soon as declines happen—we
allow us to locate the customer’s correct      don’t need to wait to resolve them.”
information in seconds,” says Morgan. “We
can also make and track any exceptions to      Inbound and outbound call center staff
policies and terms with great ease.”           take advantage of the CRM capability of
                                               Microsoft Dynamics AX by recommending
The fulfillment and warehouse team enjoys      products of possible interest to customers,
a similar experience. Says Burke, “We can      based on their purchasing history. Even
run jobs in half the time because there        during peak call times after the company’s
aren’t as many steps as there used to be, so   TV broadcasts air, call center employees
we can ship more packages in a day.            find it much easier to upsell while
Continuity shipping is automated,              customers’ interest is acute. And, when
accelerated, and dependable, no matter         sales representatives only have a short time
how varied and complex the product             span to offer sought-after, limited quantity
configurations are. With our complex           products, they can reach their accounts and
product kits, our back orders would stretch    close transactions quickly. Also, with real-
out to upwards of 30 days, but now we are      time inventory visibility, they can see right
always within two weeks, even during the       away whether or not the item is still in
busy holiday season.” At the same time, by     stock before they process the order.
taking advantage of new efficiencies and       Morgan points out, “It greatly helps sales
more dependable workflows with Microsoft       that inventory today is always available, as
Dynamics AX, Burke and her team are able       needed, so that we can close business with
to spend more time on quality control,         customers responding to broadcasts,
reducing the error rate and ensuring           catalogs, or campaigns, and ship
shipments are packed correctly to avoid        immediately.”
damage. Burke adds, “Our rate of error-free
order fulfillment is at an all-time high and
For More Information                                  Additional Resources                            Microsoft Dynamics
For more information about Microsoft                   Watch a video about CSN’s success story       Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated,
products and services, call the Microsoft               produced by Junction Solutions.               adaptable business management solutions
Sales Information Center at (800) 426-                 Read about Microsoft Dynamics AX in           that enables you and your people to make
9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft                     retail organizations.                         business decisions with greater confidence.
Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-                Watch a video about Microsoft Dynamics        Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar
2495. Customers in the United States and                and Connected Experiences for Retail.         Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office,
Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing                 Learn more about Junction Solution            which means less of a learning curve for
can reach Microsoft text telephone                      products.                                     your people, so they can get up and
(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234.                                                                 running quickly and focus on what’s most
Outside the 50 United States and                                                                      important. And because it is from
Canada, please contact your local                                                                     Microsoft, it easily works with the
Microsoft subsidiary. To access                                                                       systems that your company already has
information using the World Wide Web,                                                                 implemented. By automating and
go to:                                                                                                streamlining financial, customer
www.microsoft.com                                                                                     relationship, and supply chain processes,
                                                                                                      Microsoft Dynamics brings together
For more information about Cable                                                                      people, processes, and technologies,
Shopping Network products and services,                                                               increasing the productivity and
call (480) 624-4402 or visit the website at:                                                          effectiveness of your business, and helping
www.shopcsntv.com                                                                                     you drive business success.

For more information about Junction                                                                   For more information about Microsoft
Solutions products and services, call (303)                                                           Dynamics, go to:
327-8800 or visit the website at:                                                                     www.microsoft.com/dynamics
www.junctionsolutions.com




                                                          Software and Services                   Partners
                                                             Microsoft Dynamics                     Junction Solutions
                                                              − Microsoft Dynamics AX




This case study is for informational purposes only.
MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.

Document published January 2011

				
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